A Year of Remote Teaching: the Good, the Bad, and the Next Steps

A Year of Remote Teaching: the Good, the Bad, and the Next Steps
How can academe make best use of the faculty’s vast new capacity to teach with technology?
By Michelle D. Miller March 17, 2021 from The Chronicle of Higher Education

A year ago this month, the realization began to settle in: All the workarounds we’d devised to continue teaching during the looming pandemic weren’t going to be a short-term thing.

Looking back, it’s clear that pandemic teaching has pushed academics to the edge of possibility, and shown just what we can do with the tech we have and the willingness to experiment. It’s also created a massive new reserve of faculty knowledge about how to use technology tools. We’re never going back to a time when large swaths of the faculty lacked basic knowledge about things like learning-management systems and videoconferencing, or when the ability to teach in a virtual classroom was rare.

Post-pandemic, that newfound capacity is something that academe can either waste or put to good use. I’m hoping for the latter.

Last March, as a veteran of online teaching and educational technology, I offered advice to instructors on “Going Online In a Hurry.” By fall 2020, institutions had rolled out their own versions of HyFlex and other teaching models featuring some mix of in-person and online instruction. At Northern Arizona University, where I teach psychology, I’ve been using its “NAUFlex” system for most of 2020-21. What follows are my thoughts on the surprises — good and bad — of this unprecedented academic year, and on what’s coming next.

Last Modified: March 19, 2021